Armstrong’s Owen Barker will always remember his professional lacrosse debut.
The defender/transition player scored a key fourth-quarter goal as the Vancouver Warriors rallied from five goals down in the final 15 minutes to stun the Calgary Roughnecks 14-13 in overtime in front of 10,804 fans at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome.
It was the season-opening National Lacrosse League game for both teams, and they meet again Friday in the Warriors’ home opener at Rogers Arena.
“Ya, what a first game,” said Barker. “It was a good team character win. I was pretty nervous the first half and I think it showed in my play but settled down for the second and started to play my game.”
Barker worked a pick-and-roll beautifully with teammate Logan Schuss and fired a shot past Calgary netminder Christian Del Bianco at 7:47 of the third to make the score 13-11 Calgary.
“I transitioned the ball up and decided to stay for a shift up front, found a defender’s back and rolled to the open middle where I got the dish and the ball ended up in the back of the net,” laughed Barker of his first professional goal.
Barker also picked up a two-minute dead ball penalty in his NLL debut.
Schuss, at 14:10, and James Rahe, at 14:38, both with Vancouver goalie Aaron Bold on the bench for an extra attacker, scored in the final minute for the Warriors to force overtime.
Matt Beers got the winner at 4:17 of the extra frame.
“It was awesome to play in front of a full barn, now I just can’t wait for Friday when the fans are cheering for us said Barker.
Bold finished with 43 saves on 56 shots while Del Bianco stopped 32 of 46 shots in the Calgary net.
Vancouver trailed 9-6 at the half and 12-8 going into the final 15-minute quarter.